- Date & Location: Saturday March 6 @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas
- Odds: Amanda Nunes (-1200) vs. Megan Anderson (+700) via Bovada
- Prediction: Nunes by knockout
On Saturday, March 6, the UFC presents a packed fight card. UFC 259, which takes place at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, features three title fights at the top of the card. In the main event of the ESPN+ streaming pay-per-view event, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya moves up to light heavyweight to challenge Jan Blachowicz for his 205-pound title belt. In the co-headliner, two-division women’s champion Amanda Nunes puts her featherweight title on the line against Megan Anderson.
Nunes had won and defended the bantamweight crown three times before she moved up to 145 pounds to face Cris Cyborg in December 2018. She scored a 51-second knockout win over Cyborg to claim her second UFC belt. Nunes then defended the 135-pound title twice before she made her first defense of the featherweight crown. That fight came in June when she defeated Felicia Spencer by decision.
Anderson joined the UFC in 2018. She had won the interim Invicta featherweight title prior to making her UFC debut. Anderson is 4-2 in the UFC. She is on a two-fight winning streak. Her most recent win was a first-round submission victory over Norma Dumont Viana in February of last year.
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NUNES vs. ANDERSON PREDICTION & PICK
Nunes joined the UFC in 2013. She won her first two fights with the promotion via first-round knockout and then lost her third contest when Cat Zingano knocked her out. Since that setback, Nunes has gone unbeaten. Her current record is 20-4. Her past eight fights have all been title bouts. Only three of those eight scraps have gone the distance and only one of those three was a split decision. That came to current women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. During her run to the top of two divisions, Nunes has developed into one of the best fighters in the UFC. There’s little doubt that she is the most dominant champion in the UFC women’s divisions.
Anderson has never faced a fighter as good as Nunes. In 2019, Spencer, who Nunes beat by decision, submitted Anderson in the first round. Anderson has a height and reaches an advantage over Nunes, but the skill difference between these two is something Anderson won’t be able to overcome.
Predicition: Nunes -1200 via BetOnline
BETTING VALUE WITH NUNES
Nunes has been knocking her opponents out since she began her career in 2008. After losing her professional debut, Nunes won her next six fights by knockout. None of those contests went past the second round. Since she joined the UFC, Nunes has scored an additional six knockout wins. Some notable names in that number are Ronda Rousey, Cyborg, and Holly Holm. Nunes can stop any of her opponents with her striking. Anderson, with her striking defense of just 38 percent, is likely to fall to Nunes fairly early in this contest.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Nunes has the edge in this fight in every way possible and I don’t see a way that Anderson can win. The biggest advantages Nunes has are her aggression, her boxing, and her confidence. She has looked unbeatable since her fight opposite Shevchenko and at 32, Nunes is still in her prime. If you were to ask me, the reason Anderson was booked against Nunes is that there are no other women in the very thin 145-pound division who the UFC could have logically booked to face the champ.
FIGHT STATS: NUNES vs. ANDERSON
|Amanda Nunes||Category||Megan Anderson|
|4.44||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||1.82|
|2.47||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||2.94|
|2.53||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.56|
|0.7||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.6|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
A loss here would be ruinous to Nunes’ status as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC, that’s how much of an advantage she has over Anderson. As for Anderson, a win against Nunes would be huge. Her two most recent opponents made their UFC debuts against Anderson and were not considered top-notch competition.
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